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IoT and business model transformation: We're not there yet

Frank Wammes | Jan. 26, 2017
We're on the brink of a new technological breakthrough that's easy to predict in general terms but impossible to predict in specific terms: the internet of things

So how do you get there? How do you get to a level of organizational learning where you are able to redefine your product into a service?

Most organizations are still far removed from the IoT dream of a fully connected work environment. One thing that, in my experience, the IoT makes explicitly visible is how incredibly siloed organizations still are. CIOs — and, in fact, the entire C-suite — are often horrified to discover how little true cross-functional collaboration is taking place. Sure, we talk with each other and some of us know how to get an Excel data dump from one department or another. But very few organizations have the IT infrastructure in place to truly connect data sets from different sources and glean some meaningful insight from it.

The most successful learnings so far are from organizations that have taken the approach of creating innovation labs — or perhaps even better, learning labs. These innovation or learning labs are often cross-functional collaboration zones where representatives of all departments meet and work together, not just to develop new intellectual property, but also to experiment with and experience how business models can be made future-proof. This can only be done when all department representatives are able to transcend their own functional perspectives.

By giving employees the time, resources and location for exactly that purpose, to look beyond current functional silos, these innovation labs are able to truly innovate.

It's in the very nature of IoT systems to operate beyond functional borders, so you better start collaborating. It should become a very interesting 2017.


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